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Dietary Intake of the Italian PHIME Infant Cohort: How We Are Getting Diet Wrong from as Early as Infancy.


ABSTRACT: Unhealthy dietary habits established in early infancy may lead to under or over nutrition later in life. This paper describes the energy, nutrients and food-type intake of 18-month-old infants belonging to the Italian PHIME cohort (n = 389) and evaluates adherence to the Italian dietary reference values (DRVs). Infant dietary data were collected using 7-day dietary records. Mean energy, macro and micronutrient intakes were estimated and compared with the DRVs. The percentage contribution of 19 selected food groups to total energy and macro- and micronutrient intake was determined with the aim of establishing the main food sources. Most infants' diet shared common characteristics: poor variety, excessive intake of proteins (16.5 E% vs. 8-12 E% DRV) and saturated fatty acids (SFAs) (13.8 E% vs. <10 E% DRV), mainly derived from milk and dairy products, and low intake of total fats (33.2 E% vs. 35-40 E% DRV), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) (3.1 E% vs. 5-10 E% DRV), vitamin D (1.1 vs. 15 µg/day DRV) and iron (4.5 vs. 8 mg/day DRV). The unbalanced distribution of macronutrients was reflected in energy intakes outside DRV ranges for more than half the infants. Public health interventions promoting healthy eating habits from early on, even from pregnancy, could yield significant short- and long-term health benefits.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC8709248 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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